Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust (DVD)
Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring K-von Moezzi, Kelsey Sanders, Joseph Porter, Frank Nicotero, Michelle Bauer, Jacob Witkin
Directed by Sylvia St. Croix
My four knife review of Charles Band's The Gingerdead Man remains the most controversial review I've ever written, certainly the one I still hear the most griping about. To this day I still hear from people who think I either totally punk'd them with my enthusiastic review or lost my mind. The only person I've ever heard from who agreed with my review was Charles Band himself. I admit I probably went way overboard giving it a 4/5 rating but I still make no bones about having enjoyed the heck out of that intentionally bad film, warts and all. I'm not surprised others, particularly other online film critics, didn't share my enthusiasm. I was, however, taken aback by the degree of scorn heaped upon it typically reserved for Ulli Lommel's worst. Come on; it wasn't that bad.
So to all of you who hated The Gingerdead Man I say you'll probably like The Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust more if only because the Gingerdead Man isn't even the focal point of his own movie. Less a comedic slasher film than an almost plotless comedy built around the antics on the set of a troubled Charles Band-like film set with a spiteful screed against internet film critics thrown in for good measure, you could remove the Gingerdead Man from the film altogether and it really wouldn't make that much of a difference. Everyone except me's least favorite killer cookie doesn't even become an active participant until about the second half of the 65-minute movie. He'll spout off enough bad one-liners to make you think his dialogue was written by the Unknown Comic; the campy killings he commits feeling more like afterthoughts. Gary Busey did not return to voice him. The magic's just not there this time.
After a five-minute storybook style opening recapping the previous movie and a catchy opening song reworking Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation", we're off to the set of Tiny Terrors 9: Purgatory of the Petite, the latest low budget Puppet Master-esque offering from floundering Cheatum Studios that the ever enthusiastic son of the late studio founder insists will return them to glory. The set is populated by a bunch of broad filmmaking stereotypes that spend most of the time bitching at one another over a variety of stereotypical on-the-set problems. Numerous veterans of the genre like John Carl Buechler and David DeCoteau make appearances poking fun at themselves. Even Hatchet director Adam Green makes a cameo.
Visiting the set is a terminally ill young man whose dream to visit Cheatum Studios is being fulfilled by a "Make-A-Wish" type organization. Though there's an eventual explanation as to why, I was initially wondering what kind of young man with a terminal illness would have a dying wish to visit an ultra low-budget horror film set unless maybe he was hoping to talk Tiffany Shepis into giving him some pity sex.
The Gingerdead Man arrives on the catering table in a box of pastries delivered by scream queen Michelle Bauer. Where he came from and how he came back to life is never explained and there's no reason to bother complaining about such things since there's no rhyme or reason to any of this movie.
An opening scene poking fun at the Puppet Master movies featuring such "tiny terrors" as Percolator (a R2D2-like coffee pot with side-mounted guns) and Haunted Dildo (see picture, it defies description) hit the mark humor-wise more so than anything else in the rest of the film. The finale with the "tiny terrors" coming to life and the Gingerdead Man actually getting crucified - flaming crucifixion no less - also has to be seen to be believed. Everything in between is hit and miss, mostly miss.
I can accept the fact that the movie is utter nonsense more than I can it being so darn shrill much of the time. Mostly just a lot of people on a movie set bitching up a storm at or about each other - not all that funny and some of the jokes seemed too inside baseball. Take a lot of nerve for a guy like Charles Band to produce a movie that features jokes about a producer not paying crew members given his own reported rep in that department.
A wonderful, mostly unseen, low budget movie from almost a decade ago called Attack of the Bat Monsters kept coming to mind as I watched this. That film was about the comedic troubles on the set of a Corman-esque 1950's monster movie set. It's a damn tragedy most people will never get to see that film - a distribution deal was never worked out. Wisecracking killer cookie aspect aside, Gingerdead Man 2 and Attack of the Bat Monsters have quite a bit in common. But while Attack of the Bat Monsters managed to poke fun at the people who made such movies of dubious quality with loving affection (and was a whole lot funnier too), I couldn't help but detect in Gingerdead Man 2 - a movie made by such people - a degree of bitterness coursing through its veins.
A lengthy portion aimed at internet film critics struck me as sounding like it was written by someone with a major chip on their shoulder venting their frustration in a manner not seen since Lady in the Water. Though I must say it takes a certain degree of ballsy cynicism to make a movie where you basically admit the movies you make are crap while still taking considerable time to bitch about online critics like myself who pan them for being crap, even more so when you consider this movie was directed by someone who chose to use a pseudonym rather than put their real name in the credits.
Usually Full Moon DVD releases can be counted on for being loaded with extras. Heck, those often lengthy extras sometimes tend to be more entertaining than the film itself. This time we get only about a half dozen trailers for past Full Moon releases. Big disappointment.
I'm giving The Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust an extra half knife just for the sheer audacity of Haunted Dildo. Whoever came up with the design of that puppet is some sort of perverted genius. Lloyd Kaufman has to be kicking himself for having not come up with the idea first.
2 1/2 out of 5
1/2 out of 5
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